What does a successful strategic planning process include?
In our experience, a strategic planning process absolutely must contain 3 key elements to be successful. Additional pieces certainly may add depth, clarity and ease – and they do have a valued place in strategic planning. But without the following 3 key pieces, your process and resulting plan are doomed to struggle and very likely will fail.
- The development of a clear, compelling mission and vision statement.
- The selection of innovative strategic initiatives or projects that will both grow the organization and move it toward its vision
- Assignment of due dates and responsibility for each project
How to create your strategic plan
Start at the top and move down, like a microscope zooming in closer and closer to an organism. Brainstorm and create your mission statement, i.e., why you exist. Do the same for a vision statement, which answers “what is the work that we do/create to satisfy that mission?”
Once that is clear, research and define the core strategic projects that will move you toward your vision while growing your organization. The element missing so often from these projects? Accountability. To have success on your plan, break your strategic projects into a series of outcomes or tasks. For each task assign a due date and an individual who commits to either do or oversee the work on that task through to completion.
Follow up your plan’s creation with regular accountability meetings, at least once a month. Are we moving toward our vision? How is progress on our projects? Which tasks are behind and how can we get them back on track?
Get these three pieces in place and you will find that you have much greater alignment and success on your strategic plan.
Need more information?
Here are some links to popular strategic planning related materials on our site:
- Learn more about several strategic planning tools we think make a stronger plan here.
- View a strategic plan template and learn about its key pieces here
- Read about Vision Navigation®, PGS strategic planning process here.